Fordham University mourns the loss of Robert Hinkle, a staff member in the Walsh Library’s circulation department, who died Feb. 21.
Hinkle began at Fordham in 1986 as a shelver, but ultimately spent the majority of his Fordham career as manager of the photocopy and scan center, first in Duane Library and then Walsh Library.
“Bob Hinkle was a particularly beloved member of the library staff,” said Linda LoSchiavo, director of libraries. “A gentle, friendly man, Bob was our resident sage and savant on any number of subjects. His love for Fordham was deep and genuine. We will truly miss this gentleman extraordinaire.”
A wake and funeral Mass will be held Friday, Feb. 27, at Our Lady of Refuge Church (290 East 196th Street, Bronx, NY 10458). Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. and Mass will follow at 11:30 a.m.
A reception in the O’Hare Special Collections Room in the Walsh Library will be held following the Mass.
Before coming to Fordham, Hinkle worked at the Firestone Library at Princeton, the Movielab film library in New York City, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Peter’s College and a master’s degree from Queens College, and had also pursued graduate studies at SUNY Binghamton.
In 2006 he received Fordham University’s 1841 Award, which is given to Fordham staff members who have served the University for 20 years.
“I was on the subway searching for a job when someone flashed a Fordham University book cover,” Hinkle wrote in his award citation regarding his beginnings at the University. “It was a cold day in January of 1986. I had just been laid off as a circulation clerk at the Borough of Manhattan Community College Library… I called the Fordham personnel office and they said come on up. I have been here ever since.”
In addition to his work in the library, Hinkle was an avid painter (he was featured several years ago in an exhibit at The Art Students League in Manhattan) and an aficionado of French language, striped bass fishing, and history. He also had a deep interest in politics—national and international alike—and possessed an almost encyclopedic knowledge of local politics, LoSchiavo said.
“Bob’s greatest impact was in his individual interactions with students and faculty in the library,” she said. “Always ready to help, always eager to discuss whatever subject a student or faculty member was working on, and always cheerful, Bob was considered a friend to decades of library users.”
Cards may be sent to the family via a memorial page created for Robert through Gleason Funeral Home.